This sermon series explores the concept of "Power Shifts", focusing on how personal changes in attitude, actions, alignment, abundance, and anointing can help the church fulfill the Great Commission and reach the 41% of the global population who have not yet heard of God's love.
What Is Love in Action? Why say “I love you?” “I love you” is an empty phrase without a demonstration of commitment and a willingness to sacrifice with some type of action.
“Actions speak louder than words,” undergirds much of Scripture. The apostle John clearly indicated throughout his writings that love and obedience—attitude and action—must go hand in hand. “This is love for God: to obey his commands” (1 John 5:3a). And, James reminds us, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (Jas. 2:26).
God doesn’t give commands without expecting our obedience, and the Great Commission is no exception. We know from Scripture that just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus gave His disciples specific instructions. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you,” He said, “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). These are the last words of Christ! We need to listen and obey!
“Actions speak louder than words,” undergirds much of Scripture.
All Christians and all congregations are to be involved in some type of ministry in their locality (Jerusalem), in their country (Judea), in neighboring countries (Samaria), and in the spiritual frontiers of this earth (ends of the earth). This ministry is to happen simultaneously— we don’t have to win everyone at home before we step out of our own neighborhoods.
Actions of the Jerusalem Church didn’t show it. They experienced God’s power, as revealed in Acts 2, but they didn’t move very far out of their cultural comfort zone. On the day of Pentecost, people from all over the world heard the gospel. But outside of that preliminary evangelistic thrust, the Jerusalem Church did little to push the gospel outside the limits of its own city.
Don Richardson has even gone so far as to express, “Hundreds of millions of Christians think that Luke’s Acts of the Apostles records the 12 apostles’ obedience to the Great Commission. Actually, it records their reluctance to obey it.” He notes that they quickly evangelized Jerusalem at Pentecost and in the days that immediately followed, so that Acts 5:28 records the apostles’ critics complaining, “You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.” Still, Richardson adds, “Twenty-five percent of the book of Acts was already history, and as far as the record shows, they were not even making plans to obey the rest of Jesus’ command.”
The Jerusalem Council – Acts 15:4-21 This Jerusalem congregation was on the verge of sectarianism until the Jerusalem laypeople went out and planted a church in Antioch. When the Jerusalem Church heard about it, they convened a council. If this council had not allowed God to break through, something would have happened to this church. They would have died on the vine. God didn’t need them to finish His mission—just like He doesn’t need any church. He’ll scoot around us and go fulfill His plan, whether we go with Him or not. But we will miss the great joy that comes with obedience.
This council met to discuss a spiritual beachhead established among the Gentiles in Antioch ... View this full sermon with PRO Premium